Indigenous leaders from Canada First Nations and Black community leaders from Louisiana were blocked from entering the Royal Bank of Canada Annual General Meeting in what is now known as Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Wednesday as protesters gathered outside. First Nations leaders are calling on RBC to stop funding fossil fuel projects and integrate the “free, prior and informed consent” (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples into their corporate policies in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. RBC is a major funder of the controversial GasLink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory.
A resolution proffered by Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) on FPIC won 28% support from shareholders. “They smelled us coming here to Saskatoon and separated us, put us in another room,” Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, told Quick Read today. “They’re scared of elders, they’re scared of moms, they’re cowards,” Roishetta Sibley Ozane, head of the Vessel Project in Louisiana, told Quick Read. “It’s 19th century, Jim Crow law, segregation type stuff… It’s kinda at the back of the bus, you-don’t-belong-here, get-on-your-side-of-[the street], kind of stuff to drink from the Black water fountain only. Like, what is it even?” (Quick Read (French, via Google Translate), CBC News, Saskatoon StarPhoenix)